Do you like wins? Do you like acid reflux? The Knicks got you BOTH this evening Oklahoma City. In what was, viewed broadly, a really really impressive road win, New York did everything in their power to blow a brilliant ~43 minutes of basketball but survived a massive OKC comeback. As usual, some little errors-- tight offensive possessions, sloppy rebounding, missed free throws, and 3 Robin Lopez turnovers-- propped up the Thunder's ride back from a late double-digit difference. Dion Waiters' game-tying three at the buzzer juuuust wobbled out of the rim and saved my heart from from falling out of my mouth.
So yeah, it didn't have to be that grim, but the Knicks got themselves a big, big, big W. Let's look at some things!
The Knicks shot 15-23 from downtown, which is nuts. Everybody got buckets, like even Lance Thomas. Like, even Derrick Williams. I "knew" the game was locked up when he hit a second consecutive quick three to put New York up 16:
The Thunder shot very poorly from outside (a highly uncharacteristic 3-29) and did some stuff like this, too, which helped:
Waiters https://t.co/XkywKjSsIy— vineydelnegro (@vineydelnegro) November 21, 2015
The main thing that kept New York from running all the way away with the game was the extra attention paid to penetrators by the Knicks' frontcourt. Jose Calderon honestly had his moments against Russell Westbrook, but he and the rest of the guards mostly got the steps they wanted and drew help (good help!) from the bigs, which left offensive rebounds up for grabs:
TWENTY-ONE offensive rebounds for OKC. That's a bunch!
As usual, the Knicks had some stiff late possessions that produced shots like this, and run-outs like this:
(That Westbrook shot went in.)
Melo missed two free throws as well, but also hit New York's only field goal in the last 3:45:
Then trouble began for Lopez when Melo made a smart pass out of that same set-up:
He had Porzingis riiiiight there for an easy play, but traveled instead. He'd commit two more turnovers in the final minute, getting stripped by Westbrook and rushing an inbound pass to Calderon, who was totally walled off by Serge Ibaka and couldn't even get a hand on it.
Ultimately, the Thunder got these final 2 shots down 3 with time running out (the Knicks didn't give a foul here):
So they won. They really need to get that late-game execution figured out, but at least this time, they'd stashed enough three-pointers to survive the 6-minute winter. More later! Maybe tomorrow!